Apple has updated its App Store Guidelines making some important changes to its policies in order to allow popular game streaming services including Google Stadia and Microsoft xCloud to operate on the App Store.
While it may seem like a win for the streaming platforms at first glance, Apple will require them to add their games to the App Store individually and they’ll go through the same app review process just like the other games on the platform.
4.9.1 Each streaming game must be submitted to the App Store as an individual app so that it has an App Store product page, appears in charts and search, has user ratings and review, can be managed with ScreenTime and other parental control apps, appears on the user’s device, etc.
The company also announced that Microsoft and Google will be allowed to create catalog apps allowing users to browse games outside of the iOS market but the download links of these games must link to the individual App Store app page.
4.9.2 Streaming game services may offer a catalog app on the App Store to help users sign up for the service and find the games on the App Store, provided that the app adheres to all guidelines, including offering users the option to pay for a subscription with in-app purchase and use Sign in with Apple. All the games included in the catalog app must link to an individual App Store product page.
“This remains a bad experience for customers.” a Microsoft spokesperson said in a statement to The Verge. “Gamers want to jump directly into a game from their curated catalog within one app just like they do with movies or songs, and not be forced to download over 100 apps to play individual games from the cloud. We’re committed to putting gamers at the center of everything we do, and providing a great experience is core to that mission.”
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